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IASCUFO issues communique

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Via Anglican Communion News Service

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. (2 Cor. 5.18)

Gathered in the name of the Triune God, the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO), under the chairmanship of the Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi, Archbishop of Burundi, met for daily prayer, Bible Study of 2 Corinthians and celebration of the Eucharist, and to prepare their report for the meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council to be held in Auckland, New Zealand, 26 October–8 November 2012 (ACC-15). Members reflected on the Christian calling to work for the visible unity of God’s Church as ambassadors for Christ in the ministry of reconciliation. The Commission received updates from ecumenical dialogues with Lutherans, Methodists, the Orthodox, Reformed, and Roman Catholics. Work relating to the Anglican Communion Covenant, Instruments of Communion, theological anthropology, and reception continued.

The Commission expressed its enormous appreciation for the ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, as he prepares to step down and take up his new responsibilities as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.

This, the fourth meeting of IASCUFO was held at the Emmaus Centre, Dublin. Members joined in the celebration of the Sunday Eucharist at Christchurch Cathedral, Dublin, attended evensong at St Patrick’s Cathedral and were hosted at a dinner at the Church of Ireland Theological Institute by the Church of Ireland’s Commission for Christian Unity and Dialogue. The Commission also met with the Most Rev. Dr. Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin and Chair of the Management Group of the Anglican Communion’s Network for Inter Faith Concerns (NIFCON). Opportunities to see the early papyrus fragments of the Gospels and the letters of St Paul at the Chester Beatty Museum and the ninth-century Book of Kells at the Trinity College Library were deeply appreciated, as was a visit to the ancient monastic city of Glendalough.

The Commission reflected on the on-going consideration of the Anglican Communion Covenant within the churches of the Communion. Further reflection on this process will be undertaken at ACC-15. The Instruments of Communion for the Churches of the Anglican Communion (the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates’ Meeting, the Lambeth Conference, and the Anglican Consultative Council) are the subject of an interim study offered to ACC-15 for consultation and discussion.

The Commission commends for study the work of the Anglican-Old Catholic International Co-ordinating Council (AOCICC), Belonging Together in Europe: a joint statement on ecclesiology and mission, and hopes that ACC-15 will support the renewal of AOCICC’s mandate. IASCUFO also commends the Jerusalem Report of the Anglican-Lutheran International Commission, To Love and Serve the Lord: Diakonia in the Life of the Church, and supports proposals for developing that work. Following exploratory talks in 2011 between the Anglican Communion and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, IASCUFO also hopes that ACC-15 will support the re-establishment of a formal dialogue with the Reformed Churches. IASCUFO commends the text of the WCC Faith and Order Commission, The Church: Towards a Common Vision, to ACC-15 for referral to the churches of the Anglican Communion, and itself intends to undertake further study of this text. Transitivity (the question of the relationship of different ecumenical agreements to one another) is the subject of a further report by IASCUFO to ACC-15.

This meeting of IASCUFO was again superbly supported by the Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan and Mr. Neil Vigers of the Anglican Communion Office. The Commission enjoyed a visit from the Rev. Canon Dr. Kenneth Kearon, Secretary General of the Anglican Communion, who assisted with preparing the IASCUFO report to ACC-15.

Present at the Dublin meeting:

The Most Rev. Bernard Ntahoturi
Primate of the Anglican Church of Burundi, and Chair of the Commission

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Georges Titre Ande
Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo

The Rev. Canon Professor Paul Avis
Church of England

The Rev. Sonal Christian
Church of North India

The Rev. Canon Dr. John Gibaut
World Council of Churches

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Howard Gregory
The Church in the Province of the West Indies

The Rev. Dr. Katherine Grieb
The Episcopal Church

The Rt. Rev. Kumara Illangasinghe
Church of Ceylon, Sri Lanka

The Rev. Canon Dr. Sarah Rowland Jones
Anglican Church of Southern Africa

The Rt. Rev. Victoria Matthews
Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and  Polynesia

The Rev. Canon Dr. Charlotte Methuen
Scottish Episcopal Church/Church of England

The Rev. Canon Dr. Simon Oliver
Church of England

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Pickard
Anglican Church of Australia

Dr. Andrew Pierce
Church of Ireland

The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Nai Chiu Poon
Church of the Province of South East Asia

The Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Guen Seok Yang
The Anglican Church of Korea

The Rev. Canon Dr. Alyson Barnett-Cowan
Director for Unity, Faith and Order

Mr. Neil Vigers
Anglican Communion Office

The Rev. Canon Joanna Udal
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs

Unable to be present:

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Dapo Asaju
The Church of Nigeria

The Rev. Canon Clement Janda
The Episcopal Church of the Sudan

The Rev. Dr. Edison Kalengyo
The Church of the Province of Uganda

The Rt. Rev. William Mchombo
The Church of the Province of Central Africa

The Rt. Rev. Hector (Tito) Zavala
Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America (Anglican Communion)

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